RadSecure 100 Program Enhances Radiological Security Across 100 Cities

Radioactive materials do a lot of good, including treating cancer and irradiating blood. But if a terrorist obtained these materials, the results could be disastrous. Credit: NNSA ORS

RadSecure 100 targets 100 metropolitan areas across the United States by replacing some devices with alternatives that are less dangerous and, in other cases, by funding security enhancements to facilities that use high-activity radioactive materials and businesses that use mobile radioactive sources. Additionally, the initiative will provide training for facilities’ security personnel and local law enforcement.

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) is underway with a new major radiological security project to enhance U.S. radiological security. The RadSecure 100 Initiative focuses on removing radioactive material from facilities where feasible and improving security at the remaining facilities located in 100 metropolitan areas throughout the United States. It includes a significant partnership with local law enforcement.

“Radioactive materials can be used to do a lot of good: treating cancer, irradiating blood, searching for oil, and ensuring buildings are constructed safety,” said Kristin Hirsch, the Director of ORS. “But if a terrorist obtained these materials, they could set off a radiological dispersal device (RDD), or ‘dirty bomb.’ In a big city, that could have devastating consequences. RadSecure 100 works to eliminate that threat.”

The initiative focuses on enhancing radiological security in facilities in 100 U.S. cities that contain the highest priority materials, including:

  • cesium-137
  • cobalt-60
  • americium-241
  • iridium-192

RadSecure 100 will reduce risk by replacing the material or securing it. It will:

Removing the Threat

ORS works with local governments, businesses, medical and educational institutions, and non-profit partners to reduce risk by removing the highest risk radioactive materials.

Securing What’s There

If ORS can’t eliminate the risk, it works to make the material more secure. It provides an assessment of the facility’s existing security and supports enhancements and training to address a range of threats.

The office continues to develop strategies and tactics to address new and emerging threats, such as cybersecurity, for all ORS partners and facilities that use high-activity radioactive sources.

When sources are in transit or bring used in the field, they are especially vulnerable to theft. For that reason, RadSecure 100 Initiative also focuses on transportation security. By working together with industrial and commercial users, carriers, and others, ORS finds solutions to these challenges. The program offers insider threat mitigation, security training, and analysis to better understand risks associated with transportation routes or working locations. Mobile Source Security aims to improve security for radioactive sources that are used in the well-logging and industrial radiography industries.

Credit: NNSA Office of Radiological Security

Working with Law Enforcement

Facilities with radioactive materials depend on local law enforcement to respond quickly in case of an attempted theft.

A major part of RadSecure 100 is working hand in hand with local law enforcement in 100 targeted metropolitan areas to enhance response capabilities.

Support includes response training and exercises, including Alarm Response Training, Personal Radiation Detector Training, and Tabletop Exercises.

NNSA Office of Radiological Security (ORS) offers training to law enforcement with radiological sources in their jurisdictions. In addition to providing security enhancements, ORS works with agencies to train first responders and central alarm organizations what to do in case of an attempted theft.

Radiological Security Awareness Response Training enables local law enforcement to implement their own tailored training programs with ORS-supplied equipment, such as mock irradiators, trailers, and training videos as needed.

ORS also supplies the Sentry Remote Monitoring System, which provides law enforcement with immediate notification of a theft as well as situational awareness.

Credit: Office of Radiological Security (ORS)

Is Your City a RadSecure 100 City?

NNSA will be implementing RadSecure 100 in the following metropolitan areas:


  • Birmingham


  • Little Rock


  • Phoenix
  • Tucson


  • Anaheim/Santa Ana
  • Bakersfield
  • Los Angeles/Long Beach
  • Merced
  • Oxnard
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco/Bay Area


  • Colorado Springs
  • Denver


  • Hartford
  • New Haven

District of Columbia

  • National Capital Region


  • Deltona/Daytona Beach
  • Gainesville
  • Jacksonville
  • Miami/Ft. Lauderdale
  • Orlando
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne
  • Tampa


  • Atlanta
  • Augusta
  • Buford


  • Honolulu


  • Des Moines


  • Chicago
  • Rockford


  • Indianapolis
  • Evansville
  • South Bend


  • Louisville


  • Baton Rouge
  • New Orleans
  • Vinton


  • Boston
  • Worcester


  • Baltimore


  • Detroit


  • Minneapolis/St. Paul


  • Kansas City
  • St. Louis


  • Jackson


  • Billings

North Carolina

  • Charlotte
  • Durham/Chapel Hill
  • Raleigh
  • Winston-Salem

North Dakota

  • Fargo


  • Omaha


  • Las Vegas

New Jersey

  • Jersey City/Newark

New Mexico

  • Albuquerque

New York

  • Albany
  • Buffalo
  • New York
  • Poughkeepsie/Newburgh/Middletown
  • Rochester
  • Syracuse


  • Akron
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus
  • Dayton
  • Dublin


  • Oklahoma City
  • Tulsa


  • Portland


  • Allentown
  • Harrisburg/Carlisle
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh
  • Wilkes-Barre/Ashley

Puerto Rico

  • San Juan

Rhode Island

  • Providence

South Carolina

  • Charleston
  • Columbia
  • Greenville
  • Spartanburg

South Dakota

  • Sioux Falls


  • Knoxville
  • Memphis
  • Nashville


  • Austin
  • Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington
  • El Paso
  • Houston
  • McAllen
  • San Antonio


  • Salt Lake City


  • Norfolk
  • Richmond


  • Seattle
  • Spokane


  • Madison
  • Milwaukee

Story adapted from press and YouTube videos from the National Nuclear Security Administration

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